Premium Seating Additions Will Help Army’s Bottom Line Ahead of AAC Move

Premium Seating Additions Will Help Army’s Bottom Line Ahead of AAC Move

BY: Brett McCormick

February 13, 2024

Michie Stadium will add 2,000 premium seats when its East Stand renovation kicks off this spring, an upgrade that should provide Army athletics with between $4 million and $6 million of annual incremental revenue once completed in the summer of 2026, Army AD Mike Buddie told my colleague Bret McCormick.

The timing is great, as the Black Knights join the AAC in football this fall, and some of the additional premium revenue will be used to pay down the $170 million renovation bill.

While Michie Stadium’s capacity will decrease by 2,000 during the EwingCole-designed project, it’ll have its first significant premium seating in the venue’s 100-year history. The premium includes suites (18 of them containing 16 seats each), ledge seating (seats with a drink rail/counter in front of them), loge boxes, and club seating (for about 1,000 fans). The loge boxes are perched directly above the 8,000-cadet section.

“Everybody wants to be near the cadets, because that’s where the energy comes from,” said EwingCole Principal and Director/Sports and Entertainment Bill McCullough. Premium seating comes with an annual giving component and maintenance of an annual membership, on top of the ticket price.

The rebuilt East Stand should be an intimate experience, in part because of the tight site on which Michie Stadium sits — and because designers adhered to the NCAA minimum distance requirement between the sideline zone and the start of the seating stand. Because the East Stand is being rebuilt “from the ground up, it’s taking the best of all these different types of [premium] products and stacking them,” said EwingCole principal Kevin Murphy.

The different premium levels’ patrons congregate in a common indoor space featuring a large bar backed by huge windows looking out onto the Lusk Reservoir — the source of West Point’s drinking water — and the Hudson Valley beyond. The space will better equip Army to host private events, like weddings or corporate gatherings, driving more new revenue.